By James Penner
Pinks, Pansies, and Punks charts the development of masculinity inside American literary tradition from the Nineteen Thirties to the Nineteen Seventies. Penner records the emergence of "macho criticism," and explores how debates approximately "hard" and "soft" masculinity prompted the category struggles of the Nineteen Thirties, anti-communism within the Nineteen Forties and Fifties, and the conflict among the previous Left and the hot Left within the Nineteen Sixties. by way of extending literary tradition to incorporate not only novels, performs, and poetry, yet diaries, journals, manifestos, screenplays, and essays on psychology and sociology, Penner unveils the multiplicity of gender attitudes that emerge in all of the a long time he addresses. (2011)
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Additional resources for Pinks, Pansies, and Punks: The Rhetoric of Masculinity in American Literary Culture
In my estimation, the phrase is entirely inadequate for describing specific gender formations or understanding complex historical situations. Ultimately, we need a more nuanced way of discussing the fissures in masculine identity that exist both in the present and in the cultural past. In lieu of “masculinity in crisis,” Pinks, Pansies, and Punks refers to the “hard/soft binary” to chart the contrasting representations of masculinity that emerge in different historical moments. 18 The hard/soft binary is crucial to the male socialization process: to be male is to encounter, confront, and internalize its dictates (whether one likes it or not).
That said, because my project focuses on hypermasculine and macho texts, for fairly obvious reasons I often gravitate toward male authors. However, my study does include second wave feminists (Kate Millett, Valerie Solanas) who have offered critiques of hypermasculinity. Moreover, my chapter on the 1960s analyzes Susan Sontag’s conception of the “new sensibility” and argues that it contains a somewhat veiled critique of the “egghead” masculinity of the Old Left. It is important to note that the politics of masculinity in literary culture exist for women as well as men.
And the manliest Jew may be taken for a female” (409). ”14 Weininger, a self-hating Jew, represents a hyperbolic point of view. However, his paranoid perspective demonstrates that the cultural association of Jewishness with femininity was a popular obsession in certain European cultural 12 Pinks, Pansies, and Punks milieus at the turn of the twentieth century. 15 In Tough Jews: Political Fantasies and the Moral Dilemma of American Jewry (1990), Paul Breines discusses the link of Jewishness and effeminacy in relation to American culture in the twentieth century.